By Barry Fishman, President, Winchester Tennis Association (WTA)
Karl von Weissenbeck is a thoughtful young man who speaks quietly. He came to Winchester in the fall of 2017 as a member of the Winchester A Better Chance (ABC) program. Despite his usual reserved personality, he becomes animated when the subject of tennis arises.
“Tennis has been a passion for me since I was very young. I played tennis for fun with my older sister, and she went on to play on her high school and college teams. Although I never had the opportunity to take lessons, I knew it was something I wanted to try here in Winchester,” says Karl. Well Karl, you came to the right place!
The question of how to fund Karl’s tennis development presented a challenge. Winchester is a tennis-loving town, but Winchester ABC had never had a scholar interested in this sport. ABC and Mary Kay McIntyre approached me with a request for Winchester Tennis Association (WTA) to sponsor Karl. Since 1928, the WTA has been dedicated to promoting tennis in Winchester, supports the Packer-Ellis Courts, runs tournaments and supports the Town High School Boys and Girls Tennis teams. Mary Kay enthusiastically presented Karl’s case to me and I in turn presented this great opportunity to the WTA Board and funds were generously offered to Karl for his tennis lessons and clinics. Karl played at Winchester Indoor Lawn and Tennis Center (WILTC) with Coach Lucas Parrau and other supportive tennis pros, who also generously supported the ABC program by donating tennis lessons as an auction item at the recent April ABC fundraiser event.
Karl worked hard on his tennis game throughout the fall and winter in preparation for the spring season tryouts of WHS Boys Tennis Team with Coach Parrau. Coach Parrau’s dedication and support of Karl combined with his own hard work paid off, and all Karl’s supporters were thrilled when he made the team!
“I was born in Ghana but grew up in Detroit. To come visit ABC for the first time my mother and I took buses for 24 hours. I was excited to attend Winchester High School. In school I most enjoy language arts, science, social studies, and math. My favorite hobbies are playing tennis, reading, playing chess, and doing my own research on philosophies, historical figures, and science. I also like to play video games in my free time.“
Karl has greatly impressed his friends at ABC and WTA with his hard work and focus. He devotes his energy and attention to academics, tennis and ABC house community as he learns his way as a freshman in a new school and a new community. All of Karl’s supporters congratulate him and look forward to his continued growth as a tennis player and a young man.
Karl says, “I am so very thankful for the support I’ve received from the WTA and WILTC. I am thrilled to be playing in Winchester (Tennis Heaven), a town that loves tennis, and to be part of the WHS tennis team. Go Sachems!”
The WTA has continued to support Karl through his tenure at WHS.